Familiar faces boost Wolfpack’s prospects in 2017 | BaseballTimberwolves coach likely will tinker with lineup, shift players around
Coach Kirk Nicholson possesses all the pieces to the puzzle that is the Jackson baseball team.
Now all he’s got to do is assembling the pieces into a winning combination.
The Timberwolves have many familiar faces on the mound and in the infield and outfield.
“I have a lot of guys who played varsity ball,” Nicholson said. “Most of the guys are fairly experienced. It’s kind of an easy group to work with.”
That’s important since the rain has played havoc with the Timberwolves practices and actual field time has been lacking.
What Nicholson and his staff plan to work on in the remaining four non-conference contests is figuring who will be playing where.
In its non-conference season opener, Jackson defeated Inglemoor 10-5 on Tuesday, March 14.
Nicholson was encouraged by what he saw but was most focused on just seeing players in action.
Jackson pitchers included senior Jacob Bogacz, junior Jackson Webber, junior Alec Schuldt and senior Anton Soderqvist. Others will figure into the mix, including possibly some players who didn’t see much recent action on the mound due to stronger upperclassmen.
“The big thing is I’ve got a lot of guys to throw,” Nicholson said. “We’ll see who works out.”
Nicholson plans to use three or four pitchers in Jackson’s next game.
The Wolfpack offense jumped on the Vikings early, scoring six runs in the top of the first inning.
Junior Carter Booth was 2-for-4 with a triple, 2 RBI and 2 runs. Teammate Kyle Serres also was 2-for-4 with a triple. Jackson showed patience at the plate with five of the six runs scored by players who walked.
The infield will be led by senior shortstop Adam Sullivan. Three players currently are vying to be the second baseman. Senior Gavin O’Donnell and sophomore Ben Steck likely will share the catching responsibilities. Steck also might play some first base or even second. Center field also is another unsettled position with Booth and Soderqvist strong candidates, according to Nicholson.
“I’ve got some good players,” Nicholson said. “They are competing against each other for playing time.”
The Timberwolves look to have a little more speed than in past years.
“I think more this year than before we’ll put the ball in play and run a little bit,” Nicholson said.
Jackson also likely won’t have an ironclad set lineup. Nicholson might do a fair amount of tinkering
“It’s a pretty fun team to coach,” Nicholson said. “We might mix and match in the games instead of having nine players. We’ll probably move things around as we go.”